Amarnath Yatra suspended

Amarnath Yatra suspended

Pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath was suspended for Saturday as a precautionary measure in view of a strike in the Kashmir valley on Martyrs' Day, officials said.

 As many as 12 batchesof pilgrims have so far left for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal inKashmir valley from Jammu since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 30.

"Amarnath yatra has been suspended from Jammu as a precautionarymeasure in wake of the strike called by separatists in Kashmir valleySaturday," an official said.

July 13 is observed as Martyrs' Day in Kashmir. On this dayin 1931, 22 people were killed in firing by the forces of Dogra ruler MaharajaHari Singh.

Separatists have called for a shutdown as a mark of respectto those killed in the firing.

On July 8, the pilgrimage was suspended as a precautionarymeasure in view of the third death anniversary of former Hizbul Mujahideencommander Burhan Wani.

Due to the strike, normal life was severely affected in thevalley as shops and other business establishments remained closed, while publictransport remained off roads, the officials said.

Over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the caveshrine in the last 12 days of the Amarnath yatra.

Over 1.75 lakh pilgrims have so far registered themselvesfor the 46-day long pilgrimage, which is through the 36-km Pahalgam track inJammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and the shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbaldistrict.

The pilgrimage commenced on July 1 from both Baltal andPahalgam routes. Multi-tier security arrangements were made for smooth andsuccessful conduct of the yatra that concludes on August 15.As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisanceat the cave last year, while the number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3,20lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.

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